Constituency Service and Incumbency Advantage


Gary King. 1991. “Constituency Service and Incumbency Advantage.” British Journal of Political Science, 21, Pp. 119–128. Copy at
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Constituency Service and Incumbency Advantage


This Note addresses the long-standing discrepancy between scholarly support for the effect of constituency service on incumbency advantage and a large body of contradictory empirical evidence. I show first that many of the methodological problems noticed in past research reduce to a single methodological problem that is readily resolved. The core of this Note then provides among the first systematic empirical evidence for the constituency service hypothesis. Specifically, an extra $10,000 added to the budget of the average state legislator gives this incumbent an additional 1.54 percentage points in the next election (with a 95% confidence interval of 1.14 to 1.94 percentage points).
Last updated on 07/26/2013